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Concerns Voiced About California’s Workplace Mask Rules

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Sacramento, CA — California’s workplace safety board will vote today on revising regulations related to mask requirements in the workplace.

Currently, the state requires mask-wearing in most workplace situations. The updated proposal up for discussion today by the California Occupations Safety and Health Standards Board would direct businesses to only allow workers to remove masks if everyone in the room is fully vaccinated and no one has COVID-19 symptoms. Business groups are voicing opposition to this level of restriction because it is more than what the state soon plans to adopt for social settings when it does away with the color-coded tier system on June 15. The federal CDC has also stated that fully vaccinated people can safely skip masks in virtually all settings, and this runs in conflict with the revised state regulations.

A staff memo to the workplace safety board states that vaccinated people are at a much lower risk for COVID-19, but unvaccinated people remain at high risk.

The plan also would require workers at events with 10,000 or more people, whether indoor or outdoor, to continue to wear a mask and social distance.